Anyone who has played in a Wimbledon final, as Mark Philippoussis has, will have plenty to offer the next generation. And that was why Philippoussis readily agreed to be a 'Wimbledon consultant' to fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. As Kokkinakis said in the summer: "It's good having him here. He's just a good guy, first of all, and he's a legend in the sport, especially in Australia."
Unfortunately for Kokkinakis, and his grass-court mentor, he was given a tricky first-round draw in Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, but he put on a decent performance in losing in four sets (Kokkinakis had shown his ability to play on grass by beating Milos Raonic, a former Wimbledon finalist, at The Queen's Club a couple of weeks earlier). Don't be at all surprised if Philippoussis and Kokkinakis link up again next summer. "My door is always open for him. I've always liked Thanasi," Philippoussis has said. "I've always been there for him. I'm a big supporter. He's good kid. I just want him to do well."
Philippoussis played in one Wimbledon final, in 2003. If his opponent that day had been anyone other than Roger Federer, perhaps the Australian would have ending up lifting the golden trophy and putting on a dinner jacket for that evening's Champions' Dinner. Philippoussis certainly had the power in his game to do well on grass - such was the might of his serve, he was nicknamed 'Scud'. As it turned out, though, that was the day when Federer won his first Grand Slam title, so starting a collection that has now reached 19 majors (so Philippoussis was closer than anyone else to one of the most significant afternoons in tennis history - the day that Federer truly became a champion).
That was the second time that Philippoussis had played for a Grand Slam title as he also appeared in the all-Australian conclusion to the 1998 US Open, which Pat Rafter won. Among other highlights, Philippoussis was twice part of Australians teams that won the Davis Cup.
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